All mothers want their sons to grow up to be good men, but many boys just don’t know what that means. Real masculinity, true strength, and faithfulness are all admirable qualities in men. Movies, TV, and social media seem to be lacking in models of these virtues, but one place where you can find plenty of examples of solid male role models is the Bible.
Scripture is filled with battles, thrills, lives being risked, suspense—perfect for our adventure-seeking sons! They don’t have to look far to find exciting stories that show integrity, courage, and honor. Here are 7 male role models from the Old Testament you can use to inspire your son.
Scripture is filled with battles, thrills, lives being risked, suspense—perfect for our adventure-seeking sons!
1. Joseph: Perseverance
Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob, and one of 12 brothers. When his father’s favoritism led his brothers to sell Joseph into slavery in Egypt, he never lost faith in God. God rewarded him for his faith and perseverance with wisdom, visions of the future, power, and the eventual reunion of his family.
Use this story to encourage boys not to give up when they face challenges in school or at home.
2. Jonathan: Loyalty
Jonathan was the son of King Saul and the best friend of David, who would eventually succeed Saul as King of Israel. He was a courageous warrior and a devoted friend. When his own father instructed Jonathan to kill David, Jonathan chose to protect his friend from his father’s insanity. He was loyal to his friend, even when it meant risking his life for him.
Use this story to show boys the importance of choosing their friends wisely.
3. Hosea: Devotion
The story of Hosea is a metaphor that shows God’s frustration, but devotion to Israel. God told Hosea to go out and find a promiscuous woman and marry her. Hosea chose Gomer, a wife who was so flawed that she might not even be able to love him as much as he deserves. Hosea forgives and pursues Gomer over and over again.
Use this story to show boys that true love and devotion are possible because God loved us first.
4. Daniel: Courage
Where Daniel lived, praying to God was outlawed. Daniel did it anyway. So the king condemned him to death by sending him into a lion’s den. He didn’t know then that God would reward him for his courage by sparing his life. Daniel did the right thing when doing the right thing was especially difficult. Your son can do that, too.
Use this story to inspire boys to step up when other kids pressure them into bad behavior.
5. Noah: Faith
When God chose to destroy the world and begin again, he saved the only faithful man he could find: Noah. When he was commanded to build an ark, Noah chose to do God’s will despite others’ mockery, and he was rewarded for his courage. Noah had faith in God, choosing to listen to God even when He challenged Him.
Use this story to show boys the importance of making their faith a priority even if peers mock them for it.
6. David: Humility
David defeated the giant Goliath and was anointed by Samuel as the next king of Israel as a young man. When he sinned against God, his conscience led him to seek God’s mercy. God forgave him and even promised David that a member of his royal line would always sit on the throne. David was not afraid to admit when he had done wrong and to ask for forgiveness.
Use this story to encourage boys to ask for forgiveness when they do wrong.
7. Joshua: Servant Leadership
God appointed Joshua to be the successor to Moses upon his death. He led the Hebrew people into the Promised Land, leading the attacks against the Canaanites who had taken over the land. Joshua was rewarded for his devotion to God with invincibility in war and several miraculous defeats of Israel’s enemies. Joshua was a strong leader who served his people well.
Use this story to demonstrate to boys that the strongest leaders are those who are willing to serve those that they lead.
What other male role models have you found in the Old Testament?